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12-Year-Old Girl Claims LAUSD Failed to Protect Her From Bullies

A 12-year-old girl, who was beaten and bullied by her classmates at school, claims that the Los Angeles Unified School District failed to protect her from her bullies.

Jalen Ferguson has not been back at Orville Wright Middle School in Westchester since the brutal attack Monday afternoon — her classmates beat her, filmed the assault with a cellphone and posted it online.

Jalen said the main aggressor had been bullying her and calling her names before the attack.

"She said, 'Do you want to fight?' I said, 'No, I'm not going to fight,' and I walked away," she said. "She pulled my hair hard and I flipped over and hit my head really hard, and kids started hitting and punching me."

Jalen's mother Dee Dee Tyson says the sixth grader was briefly knocked unconscious, and the principal called home to tell her there had been an altercation.

"I said, let me speak to Jalen. He gave me the phone and she's crying for dear life. I said, 'Baby, hold on, your grandfather is on his way,'" Dee Dee said.

Jalen was later taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a mild concussion.

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Since January, Jalen has filed four bullying reports to her school principal's office, complaining about several students who had been picking on her.

Jalen said a school police report was filed and the students who attacked her were expelled, but her mother wants better supervision at the school.

"The thing that saddens me, it was my child on the ground, and my child screaming for help, when no one was there to help her," she said.

Jalen plans on getting home-schooled from now on.

Holly Priebe-Sotelo, LAUSD intervention coordinator, trains teachers throughout the district how to handle bullying, and said safety is the number one priority.

"Our bullying policy is that when schools know about it, if it's reported, if they witness it, is to take it seriously and investigate it and implement progressive discipline for the children involved, and then it has to be monitored," Priebe-Sotelo said.

LAUSD encourages students to report bullying if they don't feel safe. Parents can file complaints online or call their district's office.

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